NZB to Sponsor Million Dollar Kiwi Raceday at Newcastle

5 November 2021


New Zealand Bloodstock is thrilled to announce the launch of its inaugural sponsorship involving a ‘New Zealand’ based raceday hosted at Newcastle Racecourse (NSW) on 13 November 2021. 

Held during Newcastle Jockey Club’s renowned ‘The Hunter’ feature, NZB is proud to be at the forefront of developing the innovative concept, playing an integral part as the principal sponsor of the entire meeting and four undercard races. 

The Hunter feature raceday itself is a distinguished part of the New South Wales racing calendar and will headline a standalone Saturday meeting hosted by Newcastle Jockey Club, featuring a number of key New Zealand born and raised talent and boasting significant purses.

NZB’s Director of Business Development, Mike Kneebone, has been a driving force behind the sponsorship and major investment in Australia.

“This is something I have been determined to see happen for a number of years now.”

“I have been working on finding the best timing and location for a New Zealand raceday in Australia, with the intention of promoting our Ready to Run Sale and subsequent National Yearling Sales Series.

 “This is so much more than just another raceday, it will be totally unique with the aim of taking NZB and the New Zealand industry in general to a new level in Australia.

NZB’s Director of Business Development and Head Auctioneer, Mike Kneebone.

“We are delighted to be working alongside NJC and its Committee, who are in my opinion, the most progressive and forward thinking race club in New South Wales.

“We have sponsored the A$160,000 Group Three NZB Spring Stakes (1600m) for two years now, which was ultimately the catalyst in getting us to move on to sponsoring the raceday itself. 

“We hope the meeting showcases the synergy between NZB and NJC. I’m looking forward to working with NJC’s newly appointed CEO, Duane Dowell and Matt Benson to exhibit the best of New Zealand while retaining the significance of the Hunter Valley region.

“The objective by the 2022 meeting is to have all races on the card sponsored by New Zealand companies, highlighting the country’s major investment in Australia. 

“I’d also like to thank New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing (NZTM) for supporting this new and exciting venture and I’m looking forward to continuing our strong relationship with the club,” Kneebone commented.

Adding another dimension to the day is the inaugural running of the A$130,000 Alf Kneebone Trans-Tasman Trophy (1850m), where Australian-born and New Zealand-born trainers will compete head-to-head.

The race, named after the highly respected racing scribe Alf Kneebone, celebrates the talented trainers produced by both Australia and New Zealand in the industry. The winning trainer of the race will receive a NZ$5,000 NZB credit towards the Karaka 2022 yearling sale.

After a stellar season on Australasian turf, renowned kiwi stable Te Akau Racing have come on board to sponsor the A$130,000 Te Akau NZ/Australia/Singapore (1600m).

Also on the racecard is the A$300,000 Visit Karaka 2022 Beauford (2300m), the A$130,000 NZB Airfreight Max Lees Classic (900m) and the day’s feature event, the A$1,000,000 The Hunter (1300m).

Newcastle Jockey Club representative, Matt Benson, is committed to taking their great relationship with NZB to the next level.

“The Club has relished our relatively short, but sweet, partnership with NZB, and we can’t wait to make our biggest day of the year a massive win-win for both organisations and the companies that get involved in support.”

“We love the fact that NZB and their counterparts can own this major raceday on the Australian Turf calendar.

“We want it to be a celebration of New Zealand racing and breeding in Australia and truly reflect the inimitable link between our two great thoroughbred industries.

“Nothing would please me more than to sit back in three or four years’ time and watch another record NZB Hunter raceday crowd lap up the best racing and entertainment of the Spring here at the Newcastle Racecourse, in an annual event that just keeps getting bigger and better,” said Benson.